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Brush Problems

Hello all, it won't take long before everyone figures out that I am a NEWBIE so here goes.

I pulled out my Bob Ross set of paints that I purchased and started playing around with some Bob Ross instructional videos. It didn't take long into my first session and my brush now looks like a fan brush. There is no way I can paint with this as the brush is too loose and didn't hold its form. I am sure it is all me soooooo, can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong.

Here is a picture of my fat brush:


  • imken

    Welcome to the DMP Forum.

    I suggest an accumulation of pigment is building at the base of the bristles causing them to fan out.
    The heavy use of solvents in the Ross method may be responsible for softening and swelling the resin base that holds the bristles in place.
    A third possibility is rough handling during painting, heavily splaying the bristles over the canvas.

    However, this is still a mighty useful brush. Large scumbled foliage and silhouetted tree shapes are easy with this brush. Shabby plaster walls are also easily painted. You will want to buy a brush like this in a year or so.

    Nonetheless, two inch brushes are cheap to buy and easy to find. Replace it if necessary.

    If you use an oil immersion bath or a brush dip method the brush should retain its shape.


  • Thanks Denis for your comments.
    Tonight was the first time I used this brush and it didn't take but about 30 minutes for both my wife and my brush to look like this. Based on what you said, it makes me think it might be the oderless mineral spirits we were using to clean our brush during our first painting experience.

    After we cleaned the brushes they looked the same.

    As a beginner it's very hard to paint when you have bristles sticking out and messing up your brush strokes. :>(

    May I ask what kind of 1 inch and 2 inch brush you would suggest, brand and hair type or synthetic?
    I know, I know, these are basic questions, sorry but this is the very first time we have painted.

    We are on a learning curve,
  • imken

    Brands are locally attached and supplied by large Chinese manufacturers, so if I mention the Monarch brand you will not likely find it.

    Brushes of this size are used for varnishing, blocking in, toning canvas and perhaps background coverage. Not demanding work, so a reasonable quality, mid price, tradesman's brush at your local hardware store is fine. The less expensive brushes leave bristles on the canvas.

    i find both natural and synthetic bristles useful depending on the task. The stiffness of synthetic is good for stippling, whereas the natural fibres holds a lot of paint for coverage.

  • dencaldencal -
    edited June 2017

    if you are cleaning with water or solvent, contain the bristle shape with an elastic band during the final drying stage. I have even used hair gel for my friz mops.


  • If that brush now looks like a fan brush then use that to do  initial drawing and blocking in. If that still has hairs, it can be utilized.
  • Thanks everyone, this newbie is on a learning curve. I appreciate your input. 
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